To some surprise, “Strays” not only delivers the kind of jokes and situations those who love politically incorrect comedy will enjoy but get dog lovers in their feelings.


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General Information

Director(s) Josh Greenbaum
Screenplay By Dan Perrault
Based On N/A
Date Released (In Theaters) August 18, 2023
Genre(s) Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Film Length 1 Hour 33 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Reggie Will Ferrell
Doug Will Forte
Bug Jamie Foxx
Maggie Isla Fisher
Hunter Randall Park

What Is “Strays” Rated And Why?

“Strays” is Rated R because:

  • Dialog: An almost excessive amount of cursing and vulgarity
  • Violence: animal abuse, depiction of murdered animals, and animal violence against humans
  • Sexual Content: depiction of a dog’s erect penis and animals having sex
  • Miscellaneous: drug use and drinking

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Reggie met Doug when Doug’s ex-girlfriend saw him at a general store and adopted him. Reggie loved Doug, but Doug only tolerated Reggie until he became single. Then he did whatever he could to get rid of Reggie, and after driving miles away to the city, 3 hours from his home, Doug thought he got rid of Reggie for good.

However, Reggie originally thought this was a game and was going to make his way back to Doug. But when he meets Bug, he realizes that maybe this isn’t a game. And then, with Maggie and Hunter presenting the idea Doug didn’t want him and their relationship was toxic, it shatters Reggie’s world, and he wants revenge. He wants to bite Doug’s dick off.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Reggie

Reggie (Will Ferrell)
“Reggie (Will Ferrell),” Strays, directed by Josh Greenbaum, 2023, (Universal Pictures)

Reggie is an innocent and naïve dog who Doug originally only kept to get back at his now ex-girlfriend, but with Reggie playing a role in Doug’s misery, he is mistreated to the point of Reggie thinking verbal abuse is normal.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Barbie.”

Doug

Doug (Will Forte)
“Doug (Will Forte),” Strays, directed by Josh Greenbaum, 2023, (Universal Pictures)

Doug is a loser. His mom financially supports him, and he is a cheater and the type of human who can barely take care of himself, never mind a dog.

Bug

Bug (Jamie Foxx)
“Bug (Jamie Foxx),” Strays, directed by Josh Greenbaum, 2023, (Universal Pictures)

Scorned by his former human, Bug is vehemently anti-human now and strongly believes humans collect dog poop to make chocolate.

Maggie

Maggie (Isla Fisher)
“Maggie (Isla Fisher),” Strays, directed by Josh Greenbaum, 2023, (Universal Pictures)

Maggie is the dog of an influencer who feels replaced by her owner’s smaller, younger dog. But she still knows all the tricks for a notable pose and has a nose that rivals any police dog out there.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Tag” and their role in “Now You See Me 2.”

Hunter

Hunter (Randall Park)
“Hunter (Randall Park),” Strays, directed by Josh Greenbaum, 2023, (Universal Pictures)

While trained to be a police dog, Hunter works in a hospice as an emotional support animal.

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Who Is This For?

Those who love vulgar comedies that do not desire to be politically correct and, to boot, love dogs.

Highlights

It’s Hilarious

There isn’t any holding back when it comes to “Strays.” There is absolutely no desire to be a cute dog movie, and it makes it clear with every sex joke, calling someone a p**** or calling a German Shepherd “Adolf.” Any way imaginable it can get a laugh or chuckle is fair game, and that includes animal sex, dogs getting drunk or high, and watching Reggie’s naivety getting taken advantage of.

It Gets You Emotional

As you can imagine, this movie isn’t all fun and games. In many ways, it is about the abuse and mistreatment dogs go through due to not being wanted, misunderstood, or treated as a plaything. Reggie’s trauma is front and center as it becomes clear he is in an abusive relationship where he has normalized the abuse. Maggie? She is dealing with not being the new thing, Hunter with having anxiety and maybe a sense of failure for not becoming a police dog, and Bug? As you can tell from his anti-human rhetoric, he is deeply wounded after one mistake was made.

The combination does more than set up jokes or a tale of revenge; it creates a heartfelt story about all man’s best friend is willing to put up with or adapt to, as long as they feel like someone is part of their pack.

You Don’t Build Up A Tolerance To The Cursing, Vulgarity Or Situations

To be frank, there is excessive cursing, especially from Bug, who curses more than every sentence, but every few words. Also, the gross-out humor does everything but show you dogs having penetrative sex and vulgarity? All I know is the curses in this film may not be memorable, but they are inventive.

Yet, despite how much each character says or does something that earns “Strays” it’s R Rating, you never really get used to it. The cursing, as new combinations are made combined with who is cursing at who over what, finds a way to stay fresh. The situations? Due to most dog movies leaning towards being family-friendly, watching them pee on one another to solidify friendship, sex jokes, and talking about how they’ll rip Doug’s dick off, it never gets old for you likely have nothing to compare it to.

If anything, this might be one of the few movies that goes all out without doing the most to get the least out of its audience.

On The Fence

Sometimes The Mouth Special Effects Look Weird

Now, it should be noted the animals look and move like real dogs. Some of the other animals, like squirrels we see, may not be real. But, generally speaking, everything is fluid enough for you to not question most of the movement on screen.

That is, until the mouths move. It can sometimes feel weird, maybe even unnecessary, for the dogs’ mouths to move, and it isn’t always good. It matches what is said, but in comparison to watching the dogs move in a well-trained way, the mouthing feels off.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Cocaine Bear: Also an R-rated comedy featuring an animal, specifically a bear, behaving badly (mainly due to being high on cocaine, as well as her cubs).

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

FAQs

Answers to some questions you may have regarding this movie:

The Reason The Movie Is Named “Strays”

It’s about a stray dog, Bug, and a new stray dog, Reggie.

Does “Strays” Setup A Sequel or Prequel?

Strays is self-contained and gives Bug’s back story, an idea of Hunter’s past, and wraps its storylines up.

Does “Strays” Have A Mid-Credit or End Credit Scene?

There is a mid-credit scene featuring Doug.

Title Card - Strays
Strays (2023) – Movie Review
Overall
The combination of Will Ferrell’s shtick and Jamie Foxx giving us this vulgar, hurt, but ultimately wants to be loved dogs tale, is a true reminder that you can be funny, with few if any limitations, and still have a touching, potentially tear-inducing story.
Highlights
You Don’t Build Up A Tolerance To The Cursing, Vulgarity Or Situations
It Gets You Emotional
It’s Hilarious
Disputable
Sometimes The Mouth Special Effects Look Weird
81

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